March Book: Vikas Swarup: Slumdog Millionaire aka Q&A

Written by on January 27, 2009 in Book Club

The March Book

8 Oscars, still boggles me..



Slumdog Millionare, India’s version of Tsotsi,  has won eight Oscars in total,best director, for best adapted screenplay, cinematography, sound mixing, film editing, best original score and best song.

Famous Indian Composer AR Rahman, won two Oscars – for best song and best score. He dedicated the Oscar to his mum Kareema Begum. His wife Saira has always dreamt that he would win an Oscar. She must be over the moon that her dreams have finally come true.


AR Rahman and Saira


Before I watched Shah Rukh’s movie Rab Bana Jodi and before we stood up for the Indian Anthem,  I saw the trailer to this Movie -Slumdog Crorepati . My sister said this was the book her friend from Delhi gave her and the book she read – Q&A. The trailer looked really gripping. When I went to crossword bookstore in Bandra I saw the book Slumdog millionaire and since it was so cheap I bought two copies.It is about a boy from the slums who wins a gameshow similar to who wants to be a millionaire. They can’t understand how he knew the answers coming from his background. The book and movie goes through his journey into knowing all the answers.

I just finished Shantaram. Still in the India spirit of things so I thought let me read the book before I watch the movie. Heard the movie was great. It was released this week in India.The Indian fans don’t seem to be very thrilled about it from what I am reading. The world however can’t stop praising the movie. I think it might be sour grapes and can understand it, why go to Hollywood to make Indian movies when Bollywood is very capable of making the same quality and calibre of movies and I am sure at a much cheaper price. I see Shantaram is also going to Hollywood to make his movie with Johnny Depp in the lead.

Slumdog crorepati According to Hindi title of the film, released in English and Hindi in India 24 January 2008. Crorepati translates roughly as millionaire, although technically a crorepati has ten million rupees. Some Indians have been offended by the word slumdog, demanding the name be changed. Worldwide success Slumdog has been an international hit. In America it has gathered 10 Oscar nominations – including Best Film and Best Director – and has taken $44 million in the US. In Britain it has taken more than £6 million.

According to – Slumdog Millionaire won five of the six awards it was nominated for at the Critics Choice Awards and all four of the awards was nominated for at the Golden Globes. It has also been nominated for eleven BAFTA Awards and ten Academy Awards. A 2008 Critics Choice Awards winner for Best Composer, A.R. Rahman became the first Indian national to win a Golden Globe, winning for Slumdog Millionaire in the category of Best Original Score.

I read somewhere Shah Rukh khan was suppose to be quizmaster. Although he doesn’t admit it, he must be kicking himself. Lagaan now this.  I don’t know if he could have pulled it off as well as Anil Kapoor seems to be doing in the trailers though. Sometimes the smaller stars shine more brightly. Big stars overpower even the the spotlight and the movie looses a little bit of it’s essence. I really am happy Shah Rukh acted in Rab Ban Jodi instead. I thoroughly enjoyed it, Oscar nomination or not.

Amitabh Bachchan was also in the spotlight regarding slum dog, his name has also been used negatively saying that he was slamming slumdog. I was amazed that this nana bagie has a blog of his own. Glad to see someone his age has learnt to use a computer and moreover the internet. He seems to be an insomniac because he blogs at weird hours. For links to the big b’s blog and what he really has to say about slumdog – Amitabh Bachchan’s Blog – Big B Big Adda

I am busy reading the book Slumdog Millionaire aka Q&A. Will let you know how it was. So far so good. Gripping, easy reading compared to the other books I read the past months, very entertaining. I managed to read 100 pages in one sitting. That is a great achievement for me who battles to concentrate. Want to watch the movie as well. Will let you know how they both are ASAP. Already from the trailer and some reviews I read about Danny Boyle’s movie – the name of the lead character changed from Ram Mohammad Thomas to Jamal Malik.

What I want to know is did all this really happen to someone? Is it fact or fiction?

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  1. Nanima says:

    So I finally had a chance to complete the book. I watched the movie as well. The book and the movie are totally different. Salim, sweet boy, beechaarow Salim was made so evil in the movie and he became Jamal aka Ram Mohamed Thomas’s brother. Most of the questions were totally different.His profession was different. The names of the characters were not the same. It seems that only the concept of the book was taken and a whole new story was written around it.. I just wondered if Danny Boyle and I read the same book.

    The book was easy reading. I found some part a little corny and too coincidental. I understand why Danny did not use those parts in the movie.

    What I found interesting from the movie and made me reflect on my trip was the scenes in the train station. In the last scene the train station was totally empty. That is very strange in Mumbai. In retrospect when we were in Mumbai at 10pm the streets were totally quite and deserted and it was like a ghost town. I think they were under curfew or something..
    Two very illegal things that I noticed were:
    I just remembered my first train ride in Mumbai with the lady who was so vain and asked me to delete my pictures of her and after I complied how she took me to the police who deleted all my train station footage.
    At least they were allowed to film in the train station when it is illegal according to them to video there.

    The other thing that I noticed was the kissing at the train station – did you know if you kiss in public in India you can get arrested or fined..

    anyway food for thought..

    Book was good. Gives you an insight regarding the underworld of India and the part no one really talks about. It is amazing how he manages to survive.

    The movie was different but gripping, almost in the pulp fiction, lock stock and two smoking barrel type of genre. The images of India was very nostalgic. The Taj Mahal, the slums near the airport, Mumbai etc.

    Hope Slumdog brings home some Oscars.